10 Things Backpackers Always Forget


When we were preparing to leave England to start this ‘one year’ (now 2 years, most probably 3/4/5 year) trip, we were over packing, literally everything and anything we thought we would need.

Turns out, we ended up either giving away or sending home 80% of the stuff we brought for our trip.

I thought it would be a good idea to tell you guys not to make the same mistake as us, and only pack the things you REALLY need…  Here are the top 10 items soo many backpackers forget to pack…

** Disclaimer – obviously there are quite a few things you should definitely not forget but these are the less obvious things. ENJOY! **

Sleeping bag liner

Most hostels do offer bed sheets or covers, however some do not or they do but its a tiny blanket which doesn’t cover your whole body, with the air con pumping all night = cold feet/cold body which is NOT the one, let me tell ya.

A sleeping bag liner is exactly like a sleeping bag but very thin, (bed sheet type material) small and easy to pack away! These are also great if where you’re sleeping is a less than ideal place – dirty, smelly, crawling with cockroaches and full of mosquitos. It does happen – but with one of these its like putting yourself in your own little safe haven. We used these WAY more than I expected.

3/4 Way Extension Lead

Omg, without this I’m not sure what we would have done! With an extension lead, you only need one adapter, and you can use all of your own country plugs that you have. Sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty flat and easy to pack. Defiantly takes up less room than 4 adapter plugs.

Another good note, a lot of hostels only have one plug per bed or even per room sometimes. So having an extension lead with 3/4 plug sockets on help massively.

Nail Clippers

It’s surprising how often you need to cut your nails. I know it’s a bit personal or whatever but in the sun your nails grow so fast and its so annoying! A good pair of clippers is a must and you’ll thank me later for sure!

Microfibre Towel/Sarong

Ever dried yourself with paper towels? Well if you get a microfibre towel, you’ll experience the exact same feeling! I’d like to say I’m joking, but microfibre towels are nothing like the big bath towels you can wrap yourself up in. N-no. These beasts dry you slowly, often leaving you slightly damp, and the feeling is just strange and uncomfortable. On a positive note, they are super thin, very quick drying (dry themselves in 10-15 mins) and they fold up to nothing so are easy to pack. I always recommend getting one and ladies, get yourself a hair towel too if you have long hair! The ones with the button at the back, they are great and help LOADS.

Sarongs are just as important if not MORE important than a microfibre towel. Sarongs double as, a new outfit after a day at the beach, a cover-up if you are in a temple and need your shoulders to be covered, a blanket for the cold aircon bus trips, a towel or something to sit on at the beach. The possibilities are ENDLESS. Also, its NOT JUST FOR THE LADIES. So many men have them too! Even Sam. It’s so easy to have round your neck ready for anything you need. A huge must!!

Wet Bag

A wet bag is also (funnily enough) known as a dry bag. These are airtight, 100% waterproof bags. Ideal for millions of things. When your going on boats (or doing any water activities), using them as laundry bags, using them for muddy shoes or just shoes in general to keep them separated from your clean clothes AND you can also use them to organise your backpack like a packing cube per se. Which leads me on to my next item…

Packing Cubes

How people travel without packing cubes is BEYOND ME. The best ones to get are half tube packing cubes, either amazon basics, or Eagle Creek (for better quality). The half packing cubes/tubes are much more suited for backpacks. The bigger flatter ones are better for suitcases, FYI. We use 3-4 each. They are SOO handy I can’t tell you how good it is for people like us who are usually super unorganised.


Goes without saying really. Always pack a few in case you lose one. Great for peace of mind when your travelling or staying in dorms – although, I’m super cautious so usually sleep with my bag in bed with me just to be sure haha. I would say use the padlocks with codes rather than keys, so you don’t have to worry about losing them (talking from experience, well… Sams experience).

Decent Earphones

Let me tell ya, earphones are important. They are a necessity, trust me. You need them to block out people talking, snoring, just anything that’s annoying really haha. Also on long flights & journeys. Not only that but if you want to jam, you need some earphones. These earphones are the only ones I have ever had that comfortably stay inside my ears, running, sleeping, honestly anything! (Way better than the apple ones we started off with).

Bum Bag/Money Belt

Either a bum bag or money belt is ideal when travelling both a great & safe way to keep your things close to you. You always wear it on your front which makes life really easy when you’re walking around busy streets. A money belt we use if we have just got a fair bit of cash out, we usually put it in our money belt and under clothes until we can get it in a safe place. This doesn’t apply everywhere but busy cities or if we are travelling/moving on that day, we are always careful.

Last but not least…

A Back-Up Plan

Whether that’s an extra card, or account that you don’t use just in case you lose your card you can transfer the money into your back up card. Scans of your passport and driving license, any other important documents like visas etc in case you lose any of them. We always have an emergency $200 USD on us when we are travelling from one place to another, for visas or tricky situations we may end up in. Know the countries emergency service numbers. (England is 999, Australia is 000… America 911 etc). & Never forget travel insurance!

Thanks guys,

I hope this helped! These are the only things we left England with 2 years ago that we still have.

Let me know what you think in the comments!!


Lozza J

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